Paris Never Leaves You

Author: Ellen Feldman
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source:  St. Martin’s Press


Goodreads:  Living through WWII working in a Paris bookstore with her young daughter, Vivi, and fighting for her life, Charlotte is no victim, she is a survivor. But can she survive the next chapter of her life?

Alternating between wartime Paris and 1950s New York publishing, Paris Never Leaves You is an extraordinary story of resilience, love, and impossible choices, exploring how survival never comes without a cost.

The war is over, but the past is never past. 

Ope’s Opinion: Although I am not usually a historical fiction reader, I decided to try this one.  It was not for me, but I do think if you are a WWII reader you may enjoy it.  There were two story lines that felt disconnected.  The characters left me wanting something ( not even sure what.. just didn’t connect with them ).

I did enjoy all the parts of the story that had to do with the book store in Paris and the publishing house in NYC.  It was interesting to hear about how things were handled in the publishing world.

You may want to give this one a chance if you are more of a historical reader.


Look What I Found in My Mailbox

Publisher:  St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date:  January 14, 2020

Goodreads:  North Carolina, 2018: Morgan Christopher’s life has been derailed. Taking the fall for a crime she did not commit, she finds herself serving a three-year stint in the North Carolina Women’s Correctional Center. Her dream of a career in art is put on hold—until a mysterious visitor makes her an offer that will see her released immediately. Her assignment: restore an old post office mural in a sleepy southern town. Morgan knows nothing about art restoration, but desperate to leave prison, she accepts. What she finds under the layers of grime is a painting that tells the story of madness, violence, and a conspiracy of small town secrets.

North Carolina, 1940: Anna Dale, an artist from New Jersey, wins a national contest to paint a mural for the post office in Edenton, North Carolina. Alone in the world and desperate for work, she accepts. But what she doesn’t expect is to find herself immersed in a town where prejudices run deep, where people are hiding secrets behind closed doors, and where the price of being different might just end in murder.

What happened to Anna Dale? Are the clues hidden in the decrepit mural? Can Morgan overcome her own demons to discover what exists beneath the layers of lies? 

Thank you St. Martin’s Press for sending this book to me!

The Wartime Sisters

Author: Lynda Cohen Loigman
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

Goodreads:  Two estranged sisters, raised in Brooklyn and each burdened with her own shocking secret, are reunited at the Springfield Armory in the early days of WWII. While one sister lives in relative ease on the bucolic Armory campus as an officer’s wife, the other arrives as a war widow and takes a position in the Armory factories as a “soldier of production.” Resentment festers between the two, and secrets are shattered when a mysterious figure from the past reemerges in their lives.

Ope’s Opinion: I am not usually a historical fiction reader, but my daughter ( Kristin ) said this is worth the read.  So I took her advice and I am really glad I did.  The story hooked me from page one.  The characters each have great stories and their perspectives are interesting.

Having two daughters, being a sister myself and seeing my mom and aunt’s relationship – I could really relate to this sister story.  Seeing the story unfold from both the sisters gave you great perspective as you read.  The secondary characters were as strong and well developed as the two main characters.

This was obviously set during WWII, but the relationships were timeless.

Out Now

Is historical fiction your favorite read?
Do you like sister stories?
If so, pick this one up today.

Goodreads:  Two estranged sisters, raised in Brooklyn and each burdened with her own shocking secret, are reunited at the Springfield Armory in the early days of WWII. While one sister lives in relative ease on the bucolic Armory campus as an officer’s wife, the other arrives as a war widow and takes a position in the Armory factories as a “soldier of production.” Resentment festers between the two, and secrets are shattered when a mysterious figure from the past reemerges in their lives.

Thank you Kristin of Kritters Ramblings for sharing this one!

The Gown

Author: Jennifer Robson
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Kristin of Kritters Ramblings


Goodreads:  From the internationally bestselling author of Somewhere in France comes an enthralling historical novel about one of the most famous wedding dresses of the twentieth century—Queen Elizabeth’s wedding gown—and the fascinating women who made it.

“Millions will welcome this joyous event as a flash of color on the long road we have to travel.”—Sir Winston Churchill on the news of Princess Elizabeth’s forthcoming wedding

London, 1947: Besieged by the harshest winter in living memory, burdened by onerous shortages and rationing, the people of postwar Britain are enduring lives of quiet desperation despite their nation’s recent victory. Among them are Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin, embroiderers at the famed Mayfair fashion house of Norman Hartnell. Together they forge an unlikely friendship, but their nascent hopes for a brighter future are tested when they are chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime honor: taking part in the creation of Princess Elizabeth’s wedding gown.

Toronto, 2016: More than half a century later, Heather Mackenzie seeks to unravel the mystery of a set of embroidered flowers, a legacy from her late grandmother. How did her beloved Nan, a woman who never spoke of her old life in Britain, come to possess the priceless embroideries that so closely resemble the motifs on the stunning gown worn by Queen Elizabeth II at her wedding almost seventy years before? And what was her Nan’s connection to the celebrated textile artist and holocaust survivor Miriam Dassin?

With The Gown, Jennifer Robson takes us inside the workrooms where one of the most famous wedding gowns in history was created. Balancing behind-the-scenes details with a sweeping portrait of a society left reeling by the calamitous costs of victory, she introduces readers to three unforgettable heroines, their points of view alternating and intersecting throughout its pages, whose lives are woven together by the pain of survival, the bonds of friendship, and the redemptive power of love.

Ope’s Opinion: This was such a wonderful story.  The characters feel real and authentic.  I really wanted to know where Ann and Miriam lives were going to go.  The details of the gown and the embroidery were so interesting.

The historical and contemporary story lines are woven together seamlessly.  It made so much sense how it all fell into place.

If you have read much of my blog, you know I am not a big historical reader.  My daughter recommended this one ( she is highly selective of which ones she pass on to me ) and I am grateful she suggested this one.  This one gave me many hours of pleasurable reading.

Out Now

If historical fiction is your type of read,
pick up this book today!

Goodreads:  From New York Times bestselling author Meg Waite Clayton comes a riveting novel based on one of the most volatile and intoxicating real-life love affairs of the twentieth century.

Key West, 1936. Headstrong, accomplished journalist Martha Gellhorn is confident with words but less so with men when she meets disheveled literary titan Ernest Hemingway in a dive bar. Their friendship—forged over writing, talk, and family dinners—flourishes into something undeniable in Madrid while they’re covering the Spanish Civil War.

Martha reveres him. The very married Hemingway is taken with Martha—her beauty, her ambition, and her fearless spirit. And as Hemingway tells her, the most powerful love stories are always set against the fury of war. The risks are so much greater. They’re made for each other.

With their romance unfolding as they travel the globe, Martha establishes herself as one of the world’s foremost war correspondents, and Hemingway begins the novel that will win him the Nobel Prize for Literature. Beautiful Exiles is a stirring story of lovers and rivals, of the breathless attraction to power and fame, and of one woman—ahead of her time—claiming her own identity from the wreckage of love.

Thank you Sarah at Little Bird Publicity
for sending this book.

At the Corner of King Street

Author: Mary Ellen Taylor               corner of king
Publisher:  Berkley
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Won from Book Fan Mary
                 visit her blog!



Goodreads:  The author of The Union Street Bakery presents a new novel about a woman searching for a fresh start—while unable to forget the past…

Adele “Addie” Morgan grew up in a house filled with pain and loss. Determined to live life on her own terms, Addie moves to the country and finds a job at a vineyard where she discovers stability, happiness, and—best of all—love with the kind owner, Scott.

But an unexpected call abruptly pulls Addie out of her new and improved life. Her sister has just given birth and Addie’s Aunt Grace wants her to return home to help the family—even if it means confronting things she’s tried so hard to forget.

When Addie arrives, she quickly realizes that she hasn’t truly let go of her former life, at least not completely. After making a surprising connection with her sister’s baby—and her sister’s ex-husband, Zeb—Addie must choose between her picture-perfect future with Scott and the family roots she thought she’d left behind for good…

Ope’s Opinion:  This is the third in a series set in Old Town Alexandria, VA.  Since my daughter lives there the setting has a lot of meaning for me and makes me like the books more.

I like the family drama that Taylor writes so well.  The relationships feel real and the characters become like family.  The overall subject was a little on the sad side.  Mental illness effects the whole family and this story brought that to light.

There is one more in the series that is sitting on shelf and will be read really soon!

Rating:  4 – I like this book so much I know several friends to share it with.

I’m Glad I Did

Author:  Cynthia Weil
Publisher:  Soho Teen
Genre:  Historical Fiction                     I'm glad
Source:  BEA



Goodreads:  Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and songwriting legend Cynthia Weil’s extraordinary YA debut opens the secretive doors of the Brill Building-the hit factory that changed history. Part Mad Men, part Grace of my Heart, part murder mystery, I’m Glad I Did is a coming-of-age story at an unforgettable cultural tipping point: the summer of 1963.

JJ Greene, a gifted 16-year-old songwriter, defies her lawyer parents by secretly applying for a job in the famed Brill Building-the epicenter of songwriting for a new genre called rock-n-roll. But their warnings about the evils of the music industry prove far darker than she imagined when she finds herself at the heart of a cover-up that involves hidden identity, theft, and possibly murder.

Ope’s Opinion:  I do not read historical fiction very often, so if I like one – it must be exceptional.  This book falls into that category for me.  It was well written, easy to follow, had characters I liked and cared about.  It stayed very true to the time period it was written in.  

The mystery was fun to follow and attempt to figure out.  It was a little unrealistic at times, but still an enjoyable part of the book.

Rating:  Four Chairs – I like this book so much I know several friends to share it with.